Revised: NARC Analysis (Part 4)

Greetings all!  Here’s Part 4 of my analysis of NARC:

Verse 3:

In the bridge, NARC moved from B to E aeolian, and there was a feeling of disorientation, evoked by a pan from left to right in the guitar, and a synth sound.  Nowhere else in the song does the music venture beyond a B-centric key, nor does such a dramatic pan occur.  Likewise, the synth sound is the only occurrence of a non-pitched artificial sound so far in the song.

As we enter Verse 3, the lyrics change, and the protagonist’s tone becomes subtly more manipulative, as in the phrases “You know me,” and “this is all right.”  By using the wrong conjugation of the verb “step” in the phrase, “We steps into the bedroom,” Banks seems to be evoking some childlike or maybe primal state; either way, the protagonist’s use of the language has altered in preparation for the “holdings” and “poses” he’s about to make with his lover.  Also, the persistent quarter notes of the vocal and guitar lines lend a creeping quality to Verse 3, as if the protagonist is being very careful and methodical.

The disorientation before Verse 3 and the change to a different key, plus the change in the lyrics, all seem to point to a change in scenery—it’s as if the protagonist is now describing his fantasy, in which he and his lover finally are together, no longer separated by the telephone wire.  But there’s something wrong with the musical backdrop of this scene, making it even more plausible that it is a fantasy, and not reality: though Verse 3 is firmly in E aeolian, Banks’ vocal line remains diatonic to B aeolian, and in m. 92 the synth keys enter on a long-sustained B, disrupting the primacy of E aeolian.

Up next, the 5th and final installment of the NARC analysis.

Until then, yours ever,



~ by megwilhoite on January 29, 2010.

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